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Audit of plugging and abandonment of wells at Ekofisk

We have carried out an audit of how ConocoPhillips planned and executed permanent plugging and abandonment of wells at Ekofisk 2/4 A.


The Ekofisk 2/4 A facility was the first permanent platform on the Ekofisk field, and oil production here began in 1974. The facility was shut down in September 2013 and permanent plugging and abandonment of the wells started in August 2014.

The operator of Ekofisk is ConocoPhillips.

From 7 to 8 June 2017, we carried out an audit of how ConocoPhillips planned and executed permanent plugging and abandonment of wells at Ekofisk 2/4 A.

The objective of the audit was to investigate whether ConocoPhillips planned and executed the permanent plugging in compliance with the regulatory requirements.

In the audit, it was clear that many of the wells (18 out of 23) that are permanently plugged at Ekofisk 2/4 A lacked documentation in compliance with the regulatory requirements for permanent well barriers.

Nor could we see that ConocoPhillips had made an adequate risk assessment of wells with deficient or defective permanent well barriers in respect of the consequences of possible leaks from a long-term perspective.

Our audit identified non-conformities linked to well barriers in permanently plugged wells and deficient risk assessments. We also identified an improvement point linked to continuous improvement.

We have now asked ConocoPhillips to document that their solutions meet the regulatory requirements from a long-term perspective. We have asked the company for their feedback by 1 December 2017.